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ANG Airmen of the Year honored during Focus on the Force Week

The 2018 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year, selected from the 90 wings across the ANG, are: Staff Sgt. Wilson B. Gardner, Airman of the Year, 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard; Tech. Sgt. Jermaine R. Beasley, NCO of the Year, 236th Combat Communications Squadron, Louisiana Air National Guard; Master Sgt. Ashley U.P. Able, Senior NCO of the Year, 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard; and Master Sgt. Dawn C. Kloos, First Sergeant of the Year, 225th Air Defense Group, Washington Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The 2018 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year, selected from the 90 wings across the ANG, are: Staff Sgt. Wilson B. Gardner, Airman of the Year, 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard; Tech. Sgt. Jermaine R. Beasley, NCO of the Year, 236th Combat Communications Squadron, Louisiana Air National Guard; Master Sgt. Ashley U.P. Able, Senior NCO of the Year, 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard; and Master Sgt. Dawn C. Kloos, First Sergeant of the Year, 225th Air Defense Group, Washington Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

Staff Sgt. Wilson Gardner, one of the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year attended the Chief's Executive Course at the ANG Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., August 7, 2018, where he addressed the chiefs panel, sharing his thoughts on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

Staff Sgt. Wilson Gardner, one of the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year attended the Chief's Executive Course at the ANG Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., August 7, 2018, where he addressed the chiefs panel, sharing his thoughts on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The 2018 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year were honored August 9, 2018 during a ceremony held at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., as a part of Focus on the Force Week. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The 2018 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year were honored August 9, 2018 during a ceremony held at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., as a part of Focus on the Force Week. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The Air National Guard Director, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice and wife, hosted the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year and their families for dinner at the ANG House at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C., August 9, 2018. They were joined by ANG Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson and wife, ANG Executive Director Daniel E. Bishop, ANG Readiness Center Commander, Brig. Gen. Steven S. Nordhaus, two former ANG command chiefs and ANG staff members. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Rana Franklin).

The Air National Guard Director, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice and wife, hosted the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year and their families for dinner at the ANG House at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington D.C., August 9, 2018. They were joined by ANG Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson and wife, ANG Executive Director Daniel E. Bishop, ANG Readiness Center Commander, Brig. Gen. Steven S. Nordhaus, two former ANG command chiefs and ANG staff members. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Rana Franklin).

Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year, while attending the Chief's Executive Course August 7, 2018, at the ANG Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md. The SEAC discussed his duties as SEAC, shared his thoughts on leadership and engaged with the honorees on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year while attending the Chief's Executive Course August 7, 2018, at the ANG Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md. The SEAC discussed his duties, shared his thoughts on leadership and engaged with the honorees on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The 2018 Outstanding Airmen and Soldiers of the Year kicked off Focus on the Force Week by joining General Joseph L. Lengyel, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner for fellowship and food at Lengyel's home at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Rana Franklin).

The 2018 Outstanding Airmen and Soldiers of the Year kicked off Focus on the Force Week by joining Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Joseph L. Lengyel, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard, Chief Ronald C. Anderson, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner for fellowship and food at Lengyel's home at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C., August 5, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Rana Franklin).

The ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year attended the Chief's Executive Course today where they were addressed by Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The SEAC discussed his duties as SEAC, shared his thoughts on leadership and engaged with the honorees on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

The ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year attended the Chief's Executive Course August 7, 2018, where they were addressed by Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The SEAC discussed his duties, shared his thoughts on leadership and engaged with the honorees on issues facing the enlisted members of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston).

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The 2018 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year were honored this week during a ceremony held at the ANG Readiness Center here, August 9, 2018, as a part of Focus on the Force Week.

Focus on the Force Week, hosted by Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson, command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard, is a week-long series of events, aimed at giving some of Air National Guard’s senior leaders the opportunity to hear the perspective of Airmen from the field, while also celebrating the successes of the enlisted corps.

“My sincere hope is that following this week we will all have a renewed sense of pride, motivation, and patriotism,” Anderson stated. “We must never forget that many of the successes in our lives resulted from a supervisor, commander, or fellow Airman who took the time to mentor us.”

The honorees met with ANG Director Lt. Gen L. Scott Rice and Anderson, having candid conversations on how their journeys relate to the total force. They also attended the Enlisted Field Advisory Council (EFAC) meeting, where they were able to voice the obstacles they face in accomplishing their missions to the advisory council of chiefs from across the 90 ANG wings.

“These four truly epitomize my vision of the 21st Century Guard Airman,” said Rice. “I hope after taking this brief pause from the daily grind, we come back not only more motivated, but also more focused on all of the great Airmen doing amazing things for our Air National Guard and our country every day” 

The honorees also had the opportunity to share their ideas on bettering the enlisted force during the Chief’s Executive Course, an orientation for newly-promoted chief master sergeants in the Guard, where they participated in an open discussion between the new chiefs and a panel of former ANG command chiefs. They were addressed by guest speaker Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who offered up passionate words of encouragement.

“The greatest advantage we have is in the human domain,” said Troxell. “Nobody trains, educates, trusts and empowers enlisted leaders like the United States military.”

The key focus of the week-long event is the gathering of ANG senior leaders, with the goal of building strategies for handling the complex issues facing the Air National Guard and its Airmen. Recognizing the ANG’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year is a key highlight of the week.

“I take great pride in recognizing those who embody the characteristics of great leaders, great followers, and great teammates,” Rice said.

The honorees, selected from the 90 wings across the Air National Guard, are: Staff Sgt. Wilson B. Gardner, Airman of the Year, 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard; Tech. Sgt. Jermaine R. Beasley, NCO of the Year, 236th Combat Communications Squadron, Louisiana Air National Guard; Master Sgt. Ashley U.P. Able, Senior NCO of the Year, 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard; and Master Sgt. Dawn C. Kloos, First Sergeant of the Year, 225th Air Defense Group, Washington Air National Guard.

Gardner was also selected as one of the U.S. Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, and will represent the Air National Guard at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space and Cyber Conference scheduled for September in Washington, D.C.

“I am proud to represent the Air National Guard as one of the Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year,” Gardner said. “I hope to do justice to this platform, those I represent across the Guard and those who support me on this journey.”

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